Timeline: End Of An Era For World’s Oldest Scheduled Helicopter Service

The announcement by BIH that they will be pulling out of the helicopter routes to the Isles of Scilly will bring to a close the World’s longest running scheduled helicopter service.

Timeline of helicopter service to Scilly:

  • 1964 – British Airways Helicopters starts scheduled helicopter service to St Mary’s
  • 1983 – Route to Tresco begins
  • 1983 – British Airways Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N crashes en-route from Penzance to St Mary’s airport in low visibility. 20 of the 26 passengers and crew lost their lives
  • 1986 – British Airways Helicopters privatised and sold to company financed by publisher, Robert Maxwell. Renamed British International Helicopters
  • 1993 – BIH became the UK subsidiary of CHC Helicopters, as Brintel Helicopters Limited.
  • 2006 – BIH finalise a management buy-out
  • Oct 2011 – Cornwall Council grant planning permission for a supermarket on the Penzance heliport site. BIH announce plans to sell the site to Sainsbury’s.
  • Nov 2011 – BIH announce they are pulling their application for a new heliport at St Erth
  • Aug 2012 – Cornwall announce judicial review into planning decision
  • Aug 2012 – BIH say they will end scheduled air services to the Isles of Scilly


2 Responses to Timeline: End Of An Era For World’s Oldest Scheduled Helicopter Service

  1. Nicholas Alain August 5, 2012 at 4:11 am

    What does the Prince of Wales think?

  2. J Geils August 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I suggest that Radio Scilly might like to use it’s contacts in the media world to spread this story as far and wide as we can.

    The more people can sympathise with our story then the more likely it is that someone important might read it and help us achieve long-term stability.

    I don’t doubt that the Council are trying to make things happen, but every decision from here on in has to be made with the highest of dilligence and scrutiny, but done in such a way so that the islands do not have a huge gap in services provided for a time. In short, we have to act fast but not make any mistakes. I’d rather Whitehall or the DfT were a key part of any decision made.